Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It's Been 50 Years...

...since the Day the Music Died. Today, Larry Harnisch, in his L.A. Times blog, had an interesting post regarding this day, mainly from the perspective of local Ritchie Valens and the story behind the 1987 La Bamba film. When this tragic day in Rock & Roll happened, I was only 4 years old, and had no memory of it. But later, as a teen in high school, the Don McLean song American Pie would pull me back to that event in time. Since then, with the tributes in film done for Valens and Holly, I've thought the Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) has been woefully under served. Wikipedia mentions an upcoming film that "will pay tribute to Richardson", but I've seen neither hide nor hair of it.


  1. I've no memory of that day either, but I'll never forget that opening line: 'Hel-looooooo, ba-beh!'

    Yeah, everyone gets time in the spotlight except Richardson: Holly, Valens, and the folks like Waylon Jennings who weren't on the plane. The Big Bopper? He's always an also-ran.

  2. For some reason I always note the date of "the day the music died", and I don't really remember the event. It must be like you mentioned...something to do with
    "Bye Bye Miss American Pie.... "

  3. Now, for both of you, the question is:

    What do you think of Madonna's version of American Pie?

    First, for a somewhat impartial view, I played both McLean's and her version to my kids (who both like the original, though the words don't mean that much to them) this morning. My son immediately said, "Turn that funky disco OFF!" My daughter simply said, "That's disgusting."

    The surprising thing is that I don't despise it. It's taylor-made for recent generations in that its upbeat rhythm moves it along for quick processing. But, that's its weakness, too. The lyrics are treated as fast food--consumed and soon forgotten. And McLean's forlorn lyrics are what makes it so memorable, and what is sadly missed by those who don't know any better.